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O filter adapter quickie...

Old 06-30-2012, 03:57 PM
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Default O filter adapter quickie...

I've been kinda pressed for time and lacking reasonable delivery times here in Germany for parts. Needing to get my XJ through inspection meant making the oil leaks stop at least long enough for the evil man to look it over. One of the major culprits was the dreaded oil filter adapter which was leaking like the Exon Valdez! So in the intentions of passing along a little of my own experience I offer how I fixed it, without the O ring kit from the dealer.
First thing was getting the dang thing off! I did this both on my 91 and my 01 XJs within the same week and I gotta admit the 91 was FAR easier! The stupid T60 Torx bolt on the adapter of the 01 is a nightmare to deal with. And while heat and expansion over the years made it worse, I'm sure the Gorilla at the factory with the big S tattooed on its chest that installed it didn't help! I went and bought a T60 bit from a local hardware store thinking I'd just slap it on my 1/2" breaker bar and out it'd come... Nope! As I've seen others mention, there is really NO room to get at this thing. With the socket part fixed to the Torx bit it just doesn't clear the "frame" to let it enter the hole. So I took my new 8 Euro socket and beat the driver out of it. Thought "surely This will work"...uh, no. Since at that point I was reduced to using a box end wrench on the driver... and its a 12mm wrench... there was just no way to humanly apply enough muscle to it to break the adapter bolt free. Yes, I had been soaking it for several days prior with all sorts of penetrates and home brew fliuds. But this thing was stuck good! Had another soldier come over and try to help me and between the two of us and a 2' cheater pipe all we managed to do was bend the Snap on wrench into a horseshoe! ACK!.
Not willing to raise the white flag I stopped.. smoked a few camels, and thought about what else to try. A minor Epiphany hit me and I realized it was "special tool" making time. I grabbed the 2' of pipe and the Torx bit and headed towards my grinder. In a nut shell I cut the pipe in half for about 4 inches. In that cut out area of the pipe I drilled a hole roughly the size of the Torx bit. I then out the non special end of the bit on the bench grinder and rounded it off a little bit...at this point I was fully comitted since that was my only T60! I used a bench vise to sort of press fit the bit into the pipe and then hit it with the welder for good measure. Heading back to the Jeep I realized I had some stuff to remove in order to get at the adapter a little better due to the angle at which its in there. I ended up pulling the Battery and moving the radiator overflow bottle out of the way. Small glitch is that I never orientated the Torx bit to how the hole was lined up. So I wasn't able to simply slip it in.... I had to rotate the pipe clockwise until it lined up. Unfortunately it was wanting to do so just as the pipe was making contact with the motor mount. Ugh! So with lots of pent up frustration I took the pipe over to the bench and beat a good sized dent (clearance) into it. Wouldn't you know... Now it fit! And once I was certain I had it fully engaged with the bolt I applied some pressure...
BINK! Smooth as butter it broke free! Yea, Victory!
So then I went to pulling the stupid adapter out and cleaning it all up. I checked the O rings and then rummaged through the shops lame collection of "new" ones. Well... only one of the three O rings on it are even close to a normal size. The smallest one is also unusually thin, which makes it special. The medium one is really not that unusual and I actually found two that were close. The first one I tried was to fat and wouldn't let the bolt seat back in the housing...luckily the other one was better. So then I moved on to the last and largest O ring. This one is the real "special" kid and the main reason one would likely buy the kit if they had time and availability to it. (I would have!) This last O ring is actually a square shouldered turd that has to fit inside a machined groove in the adapter housing. Its also the part that seals against the block and likely the major cause for most adapters leaking in the first place! I'm guessing over time it becomes flat and can no longer seal as it should...whatever. All I knew was I wasn't going to be finding one of those around Germany anytime soon! So back to the cigarettes and brain storming session.
Now some of you may be laughing and labeling me "Hack" at this point...if not all the way through this post! And I really don't blame you. I just know I needed to get this stupid thing fixed and I was working with what I had on hand. At least it didn't involve duct tape or farm animals!
So my solution to that final O ring was simple... so simple a cav...yah, yah... Its easy. Since I had the groove all nice and cleaned out and wiped the old and flat gasket down with cleaner I knew I needed to make the O ring bigger. So I dragged out my tube of black RTV and ran a thin bead around the inside of the O ring groove. I let it set up for a little while... maybe a half hour(?) or so... and then I went and pressed the old O ring back in on top of it. Working slowly and gently I got some of the RTV to ooze out and made the O ring set in its groove just a little above where it was probably supposed to be if it was new. I let that dry an hour or so and then reinstalled it on the motor. Put everything all back together and what do you know... no more leak! I did the same "fix" to the 91 and it doesn't leak a drop either! Soooo... yeah, its kinda hack. And yes, there is a real, possibly better fix available. I just thought some of you would enjoy a different (and free) way to solve a common problem?
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Old 06-30-2012, 04:41 PM
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Cool. I have made tools like that myself in a pinch.
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Old 06-30-2012, 05:33 PM
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Airspeed, altitude and brains: any two out of the three are needed to complete the flight successfully.

Cool! Sounds like you had a good day. When you need to cut an extractor and braze an nut so it will fit, it's not a good day.
(just now looking at my photo, I see another one that I have stuck in an extension, (rusted). That wasn't a good day ether)

Here's more on leaking oil filter adapter O rings, (that often mimic a rear main seal leaking) >> http://www.myjeepxj.com/cherokee-rep...filter-adapter
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:43 PM
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I used a cheater bar on my Matco 12mm and broke the damn wrench! Those adaptor bolts are a PIA.
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:25 PM
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Funny it's made so the oil comes out there, and getting the bolt off to fix it is uncommonly tough. More of a Chinese strategy I thought.
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